One ‘Pullman in Lights’ courtesy of PMP19

I thought I would share my delight at installing lights in the first of five Pullman coaches, using PMP19 – Automatic Coach Lighting, a system where the coach lights only come on when the train is moving.
I hope the next ones don’t take quite as long! As the PMP instructions say, it does involve quite a lot of fiddling about with the coach to get it all in and be unobtrusive. You also have to be careful when handling the TCRT5000 reflective optical sensor as the sensor and phototransistor easily separate and it’s then hard to know which lead is which when you put it back together. In fact I soldered the sensor and the jumper ‘switch’ to 2 small pieces of stripboard which made them easier to handle and to glue on to the inside base of the carriage.
Using the glue gun is a whole other skill, btw! Not quite as tricky as soldering, but there’s the temptation to smooth the hot setting glue with an unwary finger.
The photo doesn’t do the result justice – the LEDs are yellow, not white. They give a nice soft glow which does look quite realistic.
Using a jumper as a switch to reduce size is very clever. A big thank you to Davy for his encouragement and a question for him. I assume the chip continues to use a small amount of battery energy to monitor the sensor, and therefore the jumper should be removed when left idle for longer periods.
All in all, a very satisfying project and well worth doing.
Best regards
Brendan Harris

Lead screw for traverser

At today’s (2nd August) Zoom session, I looked at how a threaded rod was used to operate a traverser driven by a reclaimed stepper motor. Members asked where the lead screw could be obtained. Here is the one I bought on eBay.

Zoom session this Sunday 2nd

Our next session is on Sunday 2nd, opening at 1:45pm for a 2pm start.
A previous session looked at salvaging parts, such as stepper motors, from unwanted printers and scanners.
I will have a brief look at how the stepper motor was used in a member’s traverser.
Then Andy and Neil will be demonstrating the construction of a station announcer board.
The link will be

If have not used Zoom before and would like to join in, email me and we can arrange how to set you up and make a test.

3D printer upgrades

Hi folks I recently noticed that the quality of my prints were getting very poor, when I bought the Ender3 printer I also picked up some spares and upgrade parts. I replaced the original plastic extruder assembly with a metal one and also changed the nozzle, now the prints have vastly improved(see photo)

Brickwork in 3D prints

Has anyone tried the 00b-layouts plug-in for SketchUp? It looks quite impressive and could make designing buildings a much quicker process.

Breadboard bargain.

I don’t need one, I have one that I have used for years, but at £13.50 delivered this looks like a bargain.

Charlie’s Layout

Hi Charlie, thanks for posting the video of your layout. Most impressive! I have heard about it from those who meet at the farm but not yet seen it. I look forward to visiting it some day.


Split Chassis DCC

Hi, does anyone know how to convert an analog locomotive with a split chassis to DCC?

This locomotive is a Bachmann Class 03 . I can see insulation is a main item and hard wiring will be required.

I will appreciate advice on this subject.



Zoom session on Sunday 19th

At our last Zoom session, 33 members joined in, for a presentation on useful hand tools followed by a live tour of a member’s layout.
Our next session is on Sunday 19th, opening at 1:45pm for a 2pm start.
A previous session looked at salvaging parts from unwanted printers and scanners.
One member showed a commercial ready-built stepper motor controller.
I now have one and will be showing it in use.
There will also be a demonstration of stripboard design software, showing how best to convert a laser detector circuit diagram into a working board layout.

The link will be

If have not used Zoom before and would like to join in, email me and we can arrange how to set you up and make a test,